sarcococa humilus leaves turning brown. help?

gardenbug(8b)April 19, 2012

ZONE 8, British Columbia

I have 2 urns each with Sarcococca humilus and periwinkle planted in with it. Everything was fine until I pruned off some of the brown leaves on top that I thought was just winter damage. I should have left well enough alone. Now I think that I have just removed what would evenutally have become flowers? Anyway, I'm looking at my poor sarcacocca and it's pretty brown on the top. The plant is not dead, just browning leaves. What can I do to help it? I have it planted in the shade on the north side of my house. By the way, my sarcacocca doesn't have any fragrance.

I really hope someone can help me to get it green again? Thanks everyone.

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Any chance of posting images?

See http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/hosta/msg0513322013993.html?14

Here is a link that might be useful: how to post a picture

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 10:38PM
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gardenbug(8b)

Hi Jean,
Thank you. I will take a photo tomorrow and post it.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 2:18AM
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gardenbug(8b)

Here are a couple of photos of my Sarcacocca. I hope this will help you figure out why the leaves are turning brown. I want to see if I can get it back to green again. Should I fertilize? If so, what should I use? Should I cut of more of the brown leaves? Any help would be genuinely appreciated.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 12:03PM
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gardenbug(8b)

I forgot to mention that the leaves feel quite dry. The soil is moist. I hope someone can help me with this? Thank you everyone.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 11:26AM
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gardenbug(8b)

No replies yet, so I thought I should bump up. I hope that is ok.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 3:07AM
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gardenbug(8b)

Can anyone help me with this please? I have no idea why the leaves are turning brown. Do you think it is because I pruned it? What can I do to get back to green again? Thanks soooo much for helping me.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 5:34PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Well nobody has responded I suspect because nobody knows. The Vinca looks perfectly happy so it doesn't appear to be a cultural problem e.g excess water or lack of nutrients

It could be be fungal in which case you could cut out all the brown and hope for the best. Cut the brown twigs back into healthy tissue. Don't just remove the brown leaves. If you don't mind using chemicals you could try a fungicide.

But that is only a guess. I've never seen Sarcococca with any problems. But I found a reference to Cylindrocladium buxicola aka box blight which says it affects both box and Sarcocca and I believe it has reached N America. Google it up and see what you think.

Here is a link that might be useful: Box blight

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 1:31PM
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gardenbug(8b)

Flora - thank you for your reply. Well, I did remove all the brown leaves. I'll check again to make sure I remove all the brown twigs to a healthy growth. Yesterday, I noticed some new green growth coming in. I will spray it with Safer's Fungicide and see what happens. Yes, the vinca is growing quite nicely.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 5:52PM
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